“I don’t have to be a Sinn Féin republican.”

Despite the efforts of the former Sinn Féin MLA for North Antrim, Daithí McKay to reinvent himself [move along now… – Ed], some of his supporters appear not to be prepared to let it lie. Having resigned from the party over its handling of the Jamie Bryson coaching scandal, and its anointing of Daithí McKay’s successor, former Sinn Féin councillor Monica Digney is standing in the Northern Ireland Assembly election in North Antrim as an independent candidate. As Mick noted in August last year One of the 18 to resign, … Read more

How Sinn Fein only undermined themselves by turning on their own partners in Government…

In case you missed it, here’s my analysis of the debacle up to and following the resignation of Daithi McKay written for and published by the Irish Independent on Saturday. The nine-year government coalition between Sinn Féin and the DUP has been an odd and largely unproductive affair. In spite of the popular Chuckle Brothers routine between Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness, the positive fruits of that partnership have always been more apparent than evident. And under the skin, relations have often … Read more

Following through on McKay’s misconduct of Stormont’s Nama Inquiry is a test for the Opposition…

So let me add some rather more sceptical thoughts to Brian’s view that the sacking of Daithi McKay is in itself a positive. For a start, the speed with which Sinn Fein investigated, and then had North Antrim MLA self-dispatch contrasts with the lack of one when more senior careers were on the line. I won’t detain readers with the plethora of conspiracy theories emerging around who leaked the material or indeed why, but Sinn Fein moved uncharacteristically quickly to punish one of … Read more

Who helped write Jamie Bryson’s Stormont Inquiry script? Er, the Sinn Féin chair.

This is funny. Remember that ‘controversial’ Stormont investigation into Nama from a year ago? That’s where Jamie Bryson made a reference to Person A, then revealing at the end it was none other than Peter Robinson… It was great melodrama, but who wrote the script? Allison Morris reveals this morning that it was none other than a party constituency worker for the Chair of the Committee at the time, Daithi McKay. Mr O’Hara messages Bryson saying: “A wee suggestion for your … Read more

Cartoon – A ‘black spider’ memo for OFMDFM on Justice

Tuesday May 24 had a busy afternoon. Sinn Fein announced its executive team. Prince Charles, known for his letter writing, visited Portadown and the Orange Museum as part of #RoyalVisitNI. Then news broke that the loyalist blogger Jamie Bryson  had written a letter to OFMDFM suggesting he be considered for the position of Justice Minister. Like the Justice portfolio, a question mark stands over who will be heir to the British Crown; perhaps that is another position for the loyalist blogger to consider? Brian SpencerBrian … Read more

Review: My Only Crime was Loyalty (Jamie Bryson) – “Compromising isn’t my style”

I am not a diplomat and nor would I want to be. Compromising isn’t my style. When people talk to me about Jamie Bryson there are a number of questions they repeatedly pose. Is he stupid? Has he gone away? How did he end up a flag protest leader? The first two questions can be answered with ‘no’. And along with the third, they’re at least partly explained in Bryson’s latest book My Only Crime Was Loyalty which he has … Read more

UPDATE- Jamie Bryson-A rebel without a hope?

You might think I don’t have better things to do with my time but alas this evening I ventured out to conduct my second interview with Jamie Bryson. I was surprised when he contacted me saying he wanted to talk to me again, as our first encounter led him to be generally criticised but I thought with his attempts to fundraise and Billy Hutchinson’s recent comments about him it was worth another go. I began the interview by asking him … Read more

McCann meets….Jamie Bryson

When I put out a call for who I should interview on this segment Jamie Bryson’s name came up. He is a controversial character and invokes very few muddled opinions as the interview went out live on Lisburn’s 98FM the twitter feed went into action with people tweeting praise and criticism in equal measure. I wanted to treat Bryson like I would treat any interviewee, give him the chance to give his viewpoint and then give a critique to it … Read more

Cartoon – The organ-grinder

In the 19th and 20th Century organ-grinders were often paid to keep silent, given the repetitious nature of the music. Not much chance of that in this instance. Brian SpencerBrian is a writer, artist, political cartoonist and legal blogger. Actively tweeting from @brianjohnspencr. More information here: http://www.brianjohnspencer.com/ http://www.brianjohnspencer.com/

“If you ask me one thing I could have done without in the last twelve months it’s social media” Jamie Bryson

photo by Brian O'Neill

I finally listened back to the discussion after December’s Transformative Networks – Social Media, Politics and Protests panel event at UU’s Belfast campus. The audio recording wasn’t particularly clear – a large room with everyone sitting around the edges – so at the time I didn’t upload the entire Q&A session. But some snippets are worth sharing for posterity. Harriet Long commented on the continued usefulness of long-form blogging in the age of micro-blogging: I write a blog which is … Read more

Does social media have much influence or use in NI politics or protests? #nisocialpol

Researchers Orna Young and Jonny Byrne hosted a panel discussion in the University of Ulster this morning on Transformative Networks – Social Media, Politics and Protests. A panel gave their thoughts and afterwards there was a discussion. In the first part you’ll hear Orna Young introduce the event, followed by Alan Meban and Dave Magee. listen to ‘Part 1 of panel on Social Media, Politics & Protests #nisocialpol @alaninbelfast, @dgmagee ’ on Audioboo The second part covers Harriet Long, Brian … Read more

Where have all the moderates gone?

Well he’s back; Jamie Bryson made his first appearance on Nolan this morning since his restrictions on public speaking were lifted. I listened to Jamie talk about the need for more protests (he did say they should be peaceful in fairness) and how he believed the last round of protests had actually achieved a lot. Last time I checked their number one goal of punishing the city council into submission hadn’t worked as the flag is still not up and … Read more

#WillieFrazer dresses as Abu Hamza for court

                                      Sometimes, there just aren’t words (and no, I’ve no idea who Jamie Bryson is dressed as). Certainly, Newt thinks he has a point:   As usual, the real problem with Willie Frazer is that he has a point. — Newton Emerson (@NewtonEmerson) September 27, 2013   This is Willie’s own take on his motives for the ‘protest’ (as reported by UTV). … Read more

The First Shades of God (Jamie Bryson): unremarkable theology, but an insight into the mind of the protest-organiser

Jamie Bryson has come to prominence recently as one of the leaders of the flag protests across Northern Ireland. As Chris Donnelly pointed out in his post (and was echoed later in the Belfast Telegraph), Jamie Bryson is a well known loyalist in North Down where he unsuccessfully stood at the council elections under the banner of the new party Community Partnership Northern Ireland Vice chair of the North Down Somme Association, he was not welcome to take part in … Read more